The first day of fall arrived on September 21st, so AutoLoans.ca wants to help you and your vehicle get ready for the season change.
Remember in late August when we all started unpacking our autumn gear? Then those two weeks in September happened where we bathed in humidity and sunshine. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the heatwave that much of Ontario experienced can’t technically be called an ‘Indian summer’, but whatever it was, it made everyone forget about what season we’re actually in: FALL.
With the season change becoming more apparent daily, we wondered whether drivers and their cars are ready for the season of Uggs and pumpkin spice lattes. We’ve scoured pages and pages of fall driving tips to find you some of the most helpful ones from Thinkinsure, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), and The Weather Network.
Getting your car ready for fall
|What to check||Why|
|Fluids||The fluids in your car deserve some attention when the seasons change; make sure they are all topped up and that they are designed to work well in colder temperatures. For example, you’ll need to switch your current oil to winter-grade oil and your current wiper fluid to one that works well in the colder weather (-35°C to -49°C or lower).|
|Lights||Make sure all of your lights are clean and in proper working condition; the evenings get darker much sooner in the fall, so you’ll need to make sure you can see well while driving in low to no light.|
|Tires||Winter tires work best once the barometer drops below 7°C and all four tires should be replaced. The fall season is the best time to do this, since the temperature is beginning to drop, you’ll avoid the chaos at your auto body shop after the first snowfall.|
|Tire Pressure||The temperature fluctuations common during fall can wreak havoc on your tires, causing them to contract and expand, so keep an eye on your tire pressure.|
|Wiper Blades||This is the time of the year to check that your wiper blades are still in good condition. You might benefit from swapping your old wiper blades with a pair specifically designed to work in colder temperatures.|
Car Emergency Kit
It’s also very important to be emergency-ready during this time of the year. According to the Preliminary 2016 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, approximately 28% of the year’s fatal collisions occurred from September through November. We recommend that you keep an emergency kit in your car; you can find the Government of Canada’s recommended checklist of items for a 72-hour emergency kit here. No one hopes to encounter problems on the road, but in case you ever find yourself in trouble while driving during the fall and winter months, an emergency kit could come in really handy.
Preparing yourself for fall driving
- Check the weather
Ontarians are accustomed to unpredictable weather, but it never hurts to be prepared. Check the weather before you leave home so you can pack everything you need to brave the day and its many weather fluctuations.
- Keep a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle
During the fall months, the sun rises later and sets earlier. Since the sun hangs low in the sky at these times, keeping an extra pair of sunglasses in your car can protect your eyes from the potentially blinding sunlight or glare.
- Be prepared for darker driving conditions
During the fall months, the hours of daylight gradually decrease, so be ready to do a lot more driving in darker conditions, especially during your morning and evening work commutes.
- Drive carefully over fallen leaves
While falling leaves add to the autumn ambiance, they can also make Ontario’s roads very slippery. During this time of the year, the weather can change quickly, turning wet leaves into frozen leaves, but both types are equally dangerous on roadways. The CAA recommends that you be mindful of your speed and avoid hard braking over fallen leaves.
- Pay attention to pedestrians
Canadians are not known for their colourful clothing choices, so be careful and look for pedestrians wearing dark clothing during the fall and winter months.
- Watch for children
School is once again back in session, so look out for children playing along the roadside after the school day finishes and ensure that you reduce your speed in school zones.
- Look out for deer
These beautiful creatures tend to mate in the fall, so they’re very active during this time of the year. Pay close attention to deer crossing signs and while driving on rural roads.
The fall season is a wonderful time of year, but it’s also the time to give your car some TLC after the summer months. Make sure that you’re also aware of all of the effects that the weather change could have on your driving habits. Once you and your car are prepped for the colder months, get out there and see some beautiful fall scenery!
If you’re in the market for a vehicle this season, be sure to get in touch with us at AutoLoans.ca and we’ll do the fall vehicle preparations for you. Fill out an application here and a member of our highly trained staff will get in contact with you.